Ndidi makes amends to earn Leicester a point at Chelsea

Chelsea 1:1 Leicester City

1920 chelsea away

Wilfred Ndidi went from villain to hero at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, presenting Chelsea with the opening goal, and then nodding home the equaliser from a corner…

Brendan Rodgers made one change to his side for this Sunday afternoon trip to West London, with Fuchs coming in for the injured Chilwell.
City, resplendent in their new pink and black strip, soon found themselves under the cosh, as the pre-match fervour celebrating the return of Frank Lampard continued into the game.
Before the first minute was up Azpilicueta’s cross from the right was chested down by Giroud and Pedro lashed his shot into the side-netting.
A minute later Giroud set up Mount for a shot that was saved by Schmeichel, the City keeper recovered swiftly to block Pulisic’s follow up effort.
With City looking bewildered at the back Pulisic met the resulting corner with a near-post header that zipped across the face of goal.
When Chelsea took a 7th minute lead it already seemed overdue. As City played out from the back Ndidi dawdled too long on the ball and was robbed by Mount who stayed upright after being clipped by Ndidi and managed to stab the ball past a wrong-footed Schmeichel.
After the goal the pace relented a little and City began to slowly feel their way into the game. But Chelsea were still creating chances. In the 21st minute Mount got a head to a Azpilicueta cross but directed his effort straight at Schmeichel from the penalty spot.
Then an Emerson cross was back heeled by Giroud into the path of Kante, who was denied an 8 yard tap in when Fuchs flew in with an excellent last-ditch challenge.
At this stage City’s best chance had come when Kepa dithered over a clearance and Vardy chased him down, and the Chelsea keeper only just managed to prod the ball clear.
City had more of the possession in the closing stages of the first half, but were still struggling to create anything. A Maddison free-kick into the area that just evaded Ndidi was the closest they got.

The game turned on its head in the second half with City the better side and the chances had gone from famine to feast.
Maddison burst into the area down the left and rounded Kepa, but his cut back ball for Tielemans was intercepted by Mount.
After a corner was cleared Choudhury attempted a curling effort into the top corner, but it was too close to Kepa.
Maddison then twisted and turned his way past Christensen before delivering a cross/shot that flashed wide of the far post.
Inspired by Maddison it was all City now. Tielemans fired over from a corner, and then a Fuchs shot deflected over the keeper missing the bar by inches.
City made the breakthrough in the 67th minute, with Ndidi evading his marker and rising to meet Maddision’s flag kick with a thumping header that gave Kepa no chance.
Brendan Rodgers made his first change in the 72nd minute, with debutant Praet replacing Choudhury.
A minute later City should have taken the lead. Praet send Fuchs in down the left and his cross into the area was touched in Maddison’s path by Pérez. Maddison created himself room for a shot but lifted it over the bar from 8 yards.
Chelsea had a rare chance when a Pedro chip missed Abraham’s head by a whisker, but City were soon threatening again. More good work from Praet in midfield saw Maddison breaking forward and he slipped Vardy in down the left, but the striker’s low angled drive went just beyond the far post.
With ten minutes remaining Albrighton came on for Pérez, as City pressed for a winner.
In the 88th minute another breakaway came from Praet winning the ball and finding Maddison (the third time he’d done this). Maddison fed Albrighton on the right and his precise cutback saw Tielemans connecting well with a first time effort that went straight at Kepa.
Seconds before the full time whistle Albrighton and Kepa were involved in a straight race for the ball which the Chelsea keeper narrowly won, and both sides had to be content with a point.
It had been a strange game, City could have been 3-0 down very early on, but were also genuinely disappointed not to have claimed victory.
Brendan Rodgers commented: “It was obviously a tough start for us in the game. Frank got a great reaction when he came back, which fed into the players and gave them momentum at the start of the game. But that tests you as a team, your spirit and resilience, so we had to hang in there for that opening 10-15 minutes But I thought after that, we regained our composure again, the decision-making in the first half could have been better at times with the final pass, but it’s a case of reinforcing that to the players, there were a couple of little items to look at at half-time. Second half, we were very, very good. Defensively, we didn’t give a way much, we were really tight in our organisation and we created a number of chances, and good chances, too, to win the game.”

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson, Kanté, Jorginho (Kovacic 71), Pedro, Mount, Pulisic (Willian 71), Giroud (Abraham 61). 
Substitutes: Alonso, Barkley, Caballero, Tomori.
Leicester: Schmeichel: Ricardo, Evans, Söyüncü, Fuchs, Ndidi, Pérez (Albrighton 80), Tielemans, Choudhury (Praet 73), Maddison, Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Barnes.

Referee: Oliver Langford. Attendance: 40,629.

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VAR makes its mark on Leicester Wolves stalemate

Leicester City 0:0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

1920 wolves home a

A poor opening day spectacle at the King Power saw a VAR decision ruling out a Wolves goal to produce a 0-0 scoreline…

Brendan Rodgers handed Pérez his debut, Söyüncü took Maguire’s place in the back line and both Ndidi and Choudhury were employed in midfield.
Before the game a Union FS tifo celebrated 100 years since the club was restructured after World War One and renamed ‘City’.

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

A first half of few incidents unfolded, with Wolves set up to defend and attack on the break.
The first chance came in the 2nd minute but Dendoncker shot from the edge of the area flew high and wide.
City pressed forward but were met by a wall of old gold and Choudhury and Tielemans both had shots blocked.

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

City were confined to trying their luck from the edge of the area and Chilwell, Ricardo and Ndidi all failed to hit the target.
In the 35th minute Doherty delivered a free-kick into the goalmouth and the ball fell for Bennett in front of goal, but Evans managed to prod the ball away before he could react.
City’s best moment of the half came in the 37th minute when they passed their way around the Wolves area, before Tielemans delivered a hard and low cross but Vardy’s attempted flick from two yards out was too elaborate when any touch would have seen a goal.
Wolves then broke upfield and Jota was in a great position when he fell over, presenting the ball to Söyüncü.
The half time whistle drew a veil over a forgettable half.

After the break Wolves came racing out of the traps and enjoyed a spell of pressure.
Jiménez bore down on goal and forced a save from Schmeichel, and then Bennett sent a header wide from a corner.
This spell of pressure appeared to have ended with a goal in the 51st minute.  Dendoncker got his head to a corner and it brushed Boly’s arm. Dendoncker fired the loose ball home and the away corner erupted.
But this is 2019-20, and 98 seconds later it was the home fans celebrating as the scoreboard flashed up ‘NO GOAL’ and referee Andre Marriner signalled a free kick.
A combination of the poor new handball law and VAR’s all-seeing eye had left Wolves feeling robbed.

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Jota had a chance to put Wolves ahead a couple of minutes later when he went clear down the right, but he pulled his shot 10 yards wide of the left hand post.
Maddison then had a shot blocked as City continued to struggle to get past Wolves well drilled defence.
Rodgers made his first change in the 61st minute, bringing on Barnes for Choudhury.
City upped the pressure and won a series of six corners, but Maddison failed to deliver a decent one and Wolves easily soaked up the pressure.
Albrighton replaced Pérez in the 76th minute, but still City couldn’t find a way through.
Tielemans picked out Barnes for a swerving 30 yarder, but Patrício gathered it just inside the post.
Barnes then charged into the area and exchanged passes with Vardy before delivering a low cross which Boly did well to block.
Maddison sent a shot wide and Evans’ attempted overhead kick from close in didn’t work out. Albrighton had a shot blocked late on, but this game had long looked like a 0-0 draw.

Leicester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

It was an underwhelming performance from City in the face of high expectation, but Wolves are a very good side and their Europa League games appeared to have put them more in their stride than City.
Maddison, Tielemans and Vardy all looked a little rusty, though the fine performance of Söyüncü made the decision not to spend large on a Maguire replacement look like a wise one. Brendan Rodger revealed that he earned a round of applause from his team mates.
Inevitably the main talking point was the VAR decision, which may have left some Wolves fans thinking they might never celebrate a goal quite as enthusiastically again. Which would be a great loss to the game.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Söyüncü, Chilwell, Ndidi, Pérez (Albrighton 76), Tielemans, Choudhury (Barnes 61), Maddison, Vardy.
Substitutes: Justin, Morgan, Ward, Iheanacho, Praet.
Wolves: Rui Patrício, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves (Saïss 81), João Moutinho, Castro Otto, Jiménez, Jota (Cutrone 76).
Substitutes: Lomba Neto, Gibbs-White, Ruddy, Vinagre, Traoré.

Referee: Andre Marriner. Attendance: 32,015.

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The Fox Summer Special 2019 – on sale before the Wolves game

The FOX Summer Special 2019 will be in the shops today and on sale before Sunday’s game…

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Our 29th annual summer edition features: An interview with former City defender Julian Watts, a review of the traumatic 2018-19 season, The Nations Cup Diary from our man in Portugal, an appraisal our new Adidas kits including the pink one, the progress of Women’s football, LCFC on holiday via the lens of Instagram, farewell to Danny Simpson and Shinji Okazaki, a Guide to the Premier League 2019-20, Union FS on the past and the future, Rewind – Top & Pop celebrating in Town Hall Square, The Fox Player, Goal and Villain of the season are revealed, The History of Leicester City in 100 Objects expressed in Subbuteo and Ambitious Leicester Fans, Foxed in the Head reflects on the Bukta shirt craze, and unlikely rock venues in Norfolk, the Keith Weller book reviewed, John Hutchinson revisits Fosse’s first overseas tour, the Best of Bentley’s Roof and your letters; and Fanatical Frank chooses the harder path…

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The most fun you can have for £3.

Julian Watts Interview Extract…

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FOX: You beat Stoke in the 2nd leg and had a date at Wembley…
JW: The Stoke fans weren’t too happy about that one! There were about seven of us at the Leicester end throwing our kit into the crowd and then suddenly we were cut off by the pitch invasion. Lenny was standing there in just his pants and we were thinking we were going to have to climb the fence into the away end if they got any closer. But the police did a good job in rescuing us. Oh, I was so nervous before that play-off final. I didn’t mind that because it keeps you on your toes. Five minutes into the game it all settled down. Driving in on the coach we couldn’t see a Palace fan anywhere, it was all Leicester fans. Walshy stood up and said: “Ooo, I’m a bit tense!” Everyone was laughing, but I felt I was way past that stage.
They took the lead with a shot through my legs that then hit a bobble and beat Pooley.
But we had the mentality to get back, and got stronger as the game went on. It was a really good game, I loved the experience.
I got a bit of revenge in because I’d once gone for a trial at Sheffield United and Dave Bassett came up with the age old cliche, ‘You did well, but you’re no better than what we’ve already got.’ So when we beat his Palace side I thought ‘have a bit of that’.
FOX: There was a bizarre end to the game with Kevin Poole being subbed…
JW: Yes, he wasn’t happy about that. He was a far better keeper, but Zeljko was good at penalties in training because of his frame. Pooley wasn’t one of the big socialisers, he was a quiet one, but he was a really lovely lad. He got me off the hook in that game, George Ndah side-stepped me and got a shot in, but Pooley tipped it over in the top corner. He pulled off some great saves during that run, which was his job to do, but he did it really well.

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Leicester break club record to sign Youri Tielemans

City have signed Belgium international Youri Tielemans from Monaco for a reported club record fee of £40m.

Leicester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

After a hugely impressive loan spell in the second half of last season City fans were hoping the 22 year old midfielder could be signed on a permanent deal, and now that has become reality.

Tielemans scored three goals and provided four assists in 13 Premier League appearances last season, and this signing is a big statement of intent from a club looking to break into the top six.

Tielemans told LCFC.com:“It is such a great feeling to sign for this Football Club. Ever since I arrived on loan last season, all the players, the staff and the fans have been fantastic with me, so I’m thrilled to be able to become a Leicester City player. I believe that we have the talent in our squad to achieve something special and for any player, that’s an exciting thing to be a part of. I really can’t wait to get started again with this Club and do everything I can to help my team-mates.”

PHOTO: Simon Kimber.

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End of Term feel as Leicester and Chelsea reach stalemate

Leicester City 0:0 Chelsea

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Leicester and Chelsea failed to trouble the scoreboard in a low-key end to the season at the King Power Stadium on Sunday…

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side, City’s only change being the first airing of next season’s Adidas kit, reverting back to white shorts.
It was a game played out in bright sunshine with City lacking their usual zip and Chelsea’s minds firmly on the Europa League Final.

Chelsea should have gone ahead in the 3rd minute when City’s defence were caught out by a Jorginho chip into the box that found Barkley unmarked, but Schmeichel stood up well and the shot clipped his shoulder.
Four minutes later Chelsea threatened again when  Zappacosta crossed from the right but Loftus-Cheek couldn’t get his header on target.
City’s first chance came in the 9th minute when a clearance fell for Choudhury on the edge of the area, but he volleyed over the bar.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Chilwell was the next to try his luck but his 20 yarder went straight at Caballero.
City gradually got control of the game and, following a corner, Tielemans struck a long range effort but it went straight at Caballero again.
The Chelsea keeper didn’t have to move to collect the next effort either, a header from Vardy.
After a fairly uneventful first half both sides spurned gilt-edged chances in the final minute. Luiz slipped over to allow Vardy in down the left, but he opted to pass to Tielemans instead of shooting and there was too much weight on the ball. Tielemans shot from a tight angle at the far post was smothered by Caballero.
As play moved up the other end Willian fed Alonso, whose cross set up Higuain with a sitter from six yards but his attempted back heel went wrong and the ball trundled wide of the left hand post.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

City pressed forward early in the second half and a wayward ball sent Vardy haring down the left. As he shaped to shoot Azpilicueta gave him a sly nudge and all City got was a corner. The flag-kick was cleared as far as Tielemans, 30 yards out, and though he connected beautifully with a half-volley it went narrowly wide.
The game returned to its lacklustre pace. Barkley, in plenty of space, sent a shot well wide, while City were failing to create any chances.
There was a rousing rendition of ‘Vichai Had a Dream’ in the 61st minute, and then huge cheers when Brendan Rodgers made his first change, bringing on Okazaki for his farewell appearance in place of Ndidi.
Chelsea also made a change bringing on Hazard, who also received applause for his part in our title win.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Ten minutes later Simpson also came on for his last appearance in a City shirt, replacing Albrighton for another warm reception.
In the 80th minute Chilwell went on a long run that ended with him cutting a ball back from the byline, but it evaded all the onrushing blue shirts.
With seven minutes remaining there was a scramble in the City area which saw Loftus-Cheek playing a ball to Hazard but he was flattened by Evans who thankfully also got the ball.
Barnes replaced Maddison for the final five minutes, and set up Tielemans for a shot that the Belgian fired well over the bar.

Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier League

The final whistle brought an end to a game lacking in incident, but the vast majority of the crowd remained in place for the lap of appreciation. There were special tributes for the departing Immortals Danny Simpson and Shinji Okazaki, while Top led the lap of the pitch to huge applause.
City finished the season in 9th place which, considering everything, wasn’t too bad at all.
Brendan Rodgers was already thinking about next season: “We beat Arsenal, played well against Manchester City and got a point today. People thought we would not get any points from the last three games. It’s been a nice induction into the club – the players have been good, the supporters. We’ll now add that bit of depth to the squad.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi (Okazaki 66), Albrighton (Simpson 76), Tielemans, Choudhury, Maddison (Barnes 84), Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Gray, Iheanacho, Ward.
Chelsea: Caballero, Zappacosta, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Alonso, Barkley (Kovacic 76), Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Higuaín (Giroud 84), Willian (Hazard 69).
Substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Emerson, Guehi.

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Attendance: 32,140.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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FOX 213 – The Leicester City fanzine – in the shops now

The 213th edition of The FOX – is now in the shops and will be on sale before the Chelsea game…

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It features: An exclusive interview with former City captain Simon Grayson; Fully Programmed from the Martin O’Neill era; Fox Diary – the Rodgers Revolution; the History of Leicester City in 100 Objects; the latest news from the Foxes Trust; Favourite Shirts – your nostalgic nylon; Rewind – girl hoolies from 1975; Foxed in the Head – on the perils of moving house, attempted accents and the trip to West Ham; John Hutchinson looks back on Filbert Street first floodlit games; your letters and Bentley’s Roof, and the return of Rob ‘n’ Den – the ex-Leicester Men…

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The most fun you can have for £2.50…

Simon Grayson Interview extract…

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FOX: You dropped into a team that had found a bit of momentum, and they got into the play-offs. It was a good period down here, lots of night games and late wins and Rooster Russell goals. How did it feel for you?

SG: I was just very happy to be playing first team football. You knew that every time you stepped out onto the pitch it really meant something, not like playing in the Central League. This was about people’s livelihoods, and the feelings of life-long supporters. We had some great results, and went up to Blackburn, who were flying at the time, and beat them at Ewood Park. It was buzzing down here and I thought ‘this is what football is all about’.

FOX: That season finished with the Play Off Final against Blackburn at Wembley, was that your first appearance there?

SG: I’d played there in 1988 in that Mercantile Credit thing for the Football League anniversary. I think we played one 40 minute game against Forest and lost. But this was my first proper appearance. It felt very strange, about 12 games after playing for Leeds reserves I was playing in front of about 70,000 people for a place in the Premier League. We were playing Blackburn who had Dalglish as their manager and had spent loads of money on players like Mike Newell and Gordon Cowans. I played in midfield and remember chasing around after Cowans on a red hot day and hardly getting a kick. It was a great experience even though we lost the game.

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Leicester edged out by spectacular Kompany strike

Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City

1819 man city away

City put in a great performance at the Etihad on Monday night, but couldn’t put a twist into the title race, falling to a superb strike from Vincent Kompany in the 70th minute…

All eyes were on the Etihad Stadium on Monday night with Leicester viewed as Liverpool’s last realistic hope to put a spoke in the Manchester City wheel before next week’s finale.
Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged side and they started well.
Both sides enjoyed a spell of possession in a cagey opening, and it was City who had the first chance in the 8th minute. Ricardo cut in from the right, opted to stay on his feet after a challenge that should have led to a penalty, and fired in a shot that Kompany blocked by throwing himself to the deck.
Three minutes later Man City had their first chance when Walker lifted a ball into the area, finding an unmarked Foden played onside by Chilwell, but his chest down and shot went straight at Schmeichel.
At the other end Tielemans fired a long-range effort that didn’t test Ederson and then,
from a Man City corner, Sterling and then Foden both miscued their volleys.
Halfway through the first half, with City competing well and snuffing out Man City’s attacks, the tension was beginning to mount.
The home side had a spell of pressure around the half hour mark, Gundogan had a shot deflected wide and then they went very close from a corner. Aguero nipped in for a near post header which struck the underside of the bar before Schmeichel reacted well to claw it away.
Man City kept the pressure on and David Silva’s half-volley went through a crowded area before going inches wide. City were managing the occasional break but not threatening, and as Bernardo Silva had a shot blocked, and then Gundogan fired just off target, they were looking forward to hearing the half time whistle. It arrived with City’s goal intact, and half of Merseyside daring to hope.

The Champions’ first chance of the second half came in the 53rd minute, when Silva got his head to a Walker cross, the ball looped up and fell kindly for an unmarked Sterling, but he got under his header and sent it well over from close in.
City were now entirely pinned in their own half and could only soak up the pressure. Gundogan sent a shot narrowly wide and then there were big penalty appeals when Sterling was sandwiched by Choudhury and Chilwell, but both had got a touch of the ball.
City then had a rare foray forward when Maguire strode out of defence, beat a couple of men and found himself on the left wing. He fed a ball inside to Maddison who attempted to curl a shot round Ederson, when a ball to Albrighton may have been a better option.
The anguish of the home fans increased in the 69th minute: Gundogan poked a ball through Evans’ legs setting up Aguero in a one-on-one with Schmeichel, but the City keeper brilliantly threw out a leg to deny him. However, the tension bubble was about to burst with twenty minutes remaining.
Kompany strode forward, no one closed him down, and he unleashed a 25 yarder that swerved round Maguire and into the top right hand corner. It was the first time Kompany had ever scored from outside the area and will almost certainly go down in Manchester City history as the title-winner.
The pressure eased and City had more of the ball, but couldn’t trouble the Man City defence. Rodgers brought Barnes on for Tielemans, Iheanacho for Maddison, and then Gray for Albrighton, but Man City were in full killing the game off mode now. This was summed up when it took Aguero what seemed like a fortnight to leave the field when substituted.
And they nearly paid for it with three minutes remaining. Choudhury, magnificent again, won a challenge in midfield and then strode forward shrugging off challenges before feeding a precise ball to Iheanacho, who lamely stroked the ball ten yards wide from a great position…
It was the last meaningful chance of the game, which had seen an excellent City performance that boded well for next season, let down by one defensive lapse.
Man City are now highly likely to win the title, and deservedly so, but it was also a night when City’s top six ambitions didn’t look too far-fetched.

Bendan Rodgers summed up: “I’m very proud of the team and it bodes well for the future in terms of the personality we played with, particularly in the first half. How we built the game, finding positions to play forward, it was very good. Start of the second half, that’s the area we need to be better in. Because we didn’t build the game up so well and you get a bit of relief for a second and then it comes back at you. So that’s the bit that we’ll analyse. Those are the things that we’re working on in these early stages.”

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Foden (Sané 56), Gündogan, Silva (Stones 90), Bernardo Silva, Agüero (Jesus 87), Sterling.
Substitutes: Danilo, Mahrez, Otamendi, Muric.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Albrighton (Gray 85), Tielemans (Barnes 75), Ndidi, Choudhury, Maddison (Iheanacho 80), Vardy.
Substitutes: Morgan, Ward, Mendy, Fuchs.

Referee: Mike Dean. Attendance: 54,506.

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